Definition of Osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) that usually develops during the period of rapid growth that occurs in adolescence, as a teenager matures into an adult.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Osteosarcoma is the most common cancerous (malignant) bone tumor in youth. The average age at diagnosis is 15. Boys and girls have a similar incidence of this tumor until late adolescence, at which time boys are more commonly affected.
Treatment usually starts after a biopsy of the tumor.
If the tumor has not spread to the lungs (pulmonary metastasis), long-term survival rates are very high. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, there is still a good chance of cure with effective treatment.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/5/2009